User Preferences: A Tech Q&A With Kim Asendorf
Each week we chat about the tools of the trade with one outstanding creative to find out exactly how they do what they do. The questions are always the same, the answers, not so much. This week: Kim Asendorf.
The Creators Project: Who are you and what do you do?
Kim Asendorf: My name is Kim Asendorf and I currently live and work in Kassel, Germany. Some call me a net, conceptual, media or digital artist, I would say I am a computer artist with a great passion for conceptual art. But actually I don‘t [care] what kind of artist I am, I just want to figure things out, as I’m driven by curiosity. That‘s why there is always an experimental component in my media art. For me, it‘s a part of the work itself to satisfy my curiosity and experience the reactions of the audience, which makes the internet a good place for my concepts because people enjoy posting their reactions. And the programming implements a random factor, it‘s like drawing an image with closed eyes. Basically, you write down your concept in a digital language, an algorithm, and it’s an awesome way to describe a concept. Do this, check reaction, react, check re-reaction, lean back and enjoy interaction. I also currently work as a new media research assistant at the School of Art and Design Kassel. And recently co-founded the Fach & Asendorf Gallery, an online exhibition space for modern and more modern art. And just at this moment, I am founding an agency for everything.
What hardware do you use?
I use computers, I love displays. I really love computers, and I guess you could compare it with a painter, who is pretty sure that his next artwork will be a painting. A computer with internet connection is able to be everything. It‘s the most modern way to experience art from all over the world inside your studio or your home, on your own display. On the other hand, it‘s a toy to produce the most avant-garde art. You are now able to discover the latest artworks just in the moment the artist finishes it. Which means the Internet is the best computer-related concept these days—I wish it was my invention, but probably then I’d be too old to live in it. Besides computers, I like to use all kinds of digital or even electronic hardware. But I am definitely not a geek, technology is boring. The concept behind the hardware is interesting, and if and how it works with the user.
What software do you use?
I hardly use software like Finder, Mail and Chrome. For most other tasks I write my own tools. I like Java, the C-like syntax, and all its network and internet functionality. Actually, I use the Processing environment very often, it‘s the easiest way to write quick and dirty apps.
If money were no object, how would you change your current setup?
My current setup? Hmm… I would say all setups would become more expensive then. For instance with ExtraFile.org, I paid a professional Objective-C programmer, not because I am bad at this job, but I am much more effective in creating concepts than production.
What fantasy piece of technology would you like to see invented?
I’m one of these guys awaiting teleportation. And if that does get developed one day, people won’t say ”Whoah!“, because they knew about it for decades from Star Trek. I think the future will become much harder than all of us can imagine. What we know today as fantasy technology is conceptually already invented—it’s just the technical knowledge of mankind isn‘t able to build it at the moment. Much more interesting is what kind of completely new ideas will pop up. I can‘t tell you mine, you won‘t understand. =)
Is there any piece of technology that inspired you to take the path you did?
My biggest technology memory goes back to 1986, when I was 5 years old and my cousin got a NES for Christmas. I think this experience is to blame for my path. I’m still very much addicted to the graphic style from these days—games were games, not simulations. From that point on, I followed the digital world and I will be buried on the internet.
What’s your favourite relic piece of technology from your childhood?
My favourite relic is those calculator watches by Casio. I‘ll buy one again when it‘s called iPhone X.